Peterson Middle School
By their very nature, the middle school years are a very complicated and critical time. Seventh and eighth graders simultaneously long to be accepted and want to be their own person. They yearn for independence but make goofy mistakes. They want the freedom to discover their passions but are scared to fail. Add all of the biological changes they’re experiencing into the mix and it’s no surprise that few adults look back on this time as the “glory years.”
But imagine if school wasn’t part of the problem. Instead, what if school was designed to embrace students’ unique needs during this time in their lives?
Imagine a place where:
- Students respect, challenge and support each other during this developmental period when they have more ability for complex thought, are better able to express their feelings verbally and develop a stronger sense of right and wrong.
- Faculty love teaching middle schoolers and the joys and challenges that come with this age group.
- Students learn in a brand new building designed from the bottom up based on what they need. To bring out the best in students, they need to be known. That’s why we’re creating an environment that’s large enough to give middle schoolers the space to learn, grow and enjoy what Brian Lamont, our director of the Middle School, calls “responsible independence,” but small enough (with a maximum of 100 students per grade) to ensure that each student’s unique learning journey is understood, respected and supported.
- The community is comprised of parents leading busy lives who want the best for their children and for whom success is driven by the high quality of their character, not the bumper sticker on their car.
This is what you’ll find at Flint Hill.
When you visit this year you’ll see the excitement of our new Peterson Middle School take shape. You can even watch the progress via the construction webcam.
Moving to a new school is a big transition. Think back to your own first day at a new school. Remember the mix of excitement as you left your old school behind and fear about fitting in at your new school? We do. We help students find their niche at Flint Hill.
Students starting seventh and eighth grade in the fall of 2020 will be the first classes in the new Peterson Middle School, so whether new or returning, students in these classes will have the bonding experience of being pioneers in moving into the best middle school facility in Northern Virginia.
A successful middle school experience is critical to a successful high school experience. We all know how competitive the Northern Virginia region is when it comes to college admission. The stakes feel higher in high school. Give your middle schooler the gift of time and transition by starting in seventh or eighth grade. With a maximum of 100 students per grade, there’s only room for a select few. If you only get to do middle school once, doesn’t your child deserve the best possible experience?
The best way to learn if Flint Hill is right for your family is to visit. Click here to join us for an informative event or tour.
Frequently asked questions
When does the new Middle School open?
Construction is right on track and we expect the building will open for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
What’s the new Middle School look like?
Watch the full virtual tour here.
What are some of the cool features of the new building?
As you can see on the virtual tour there are many great spaces in this building. Here are a few highlights. On the left side of the building is a two-story, light-filled multi-purpose space called The Commons. It’s where students will eat lunch, hang out with friends and hold Town Meetings (when all Middle School students, faculty and staff meet as a group). On the right side of the building, a ring of light-filled classrooms surround the Academic Atrium which features two spacious project areas. There are two large innovation spaces to accommodate the needs and tools of our makers, robotics and computer science courses and facilitate interdisciplinary projects. There are also science labs, a learning center, a spacious art classroom on the second floor and small group meeting spaces. A large terrace runs the entire length of the building with built-in stadium-style seating adjacent to the turf field. During the school day, it will be available as a place to have lunch or hold classes outdoors. There’s also a state of the art playground to give students an outdoor space to burn off some of that adolescent energy and strengthen social connections.
Is there really a playground?
Yes! The original building design didn’t include a playground based on the assumption that pre-teens wouldn’t be interested in playing. However, when that design was shared with faculty and students for feedback, there was an immediate request for a playground. We even considered more a sophisticated term such as “park” or “plaza,” but our rising middle schoolers asked us to call it what it is — a playground.
Does the new building’s proximity to the Upper School mean there will be a lot of interaction with the older students during the day?
No. The Peterson Middle School is intentionally-designed as a self-contained learning environment. However, its location near the Upper School provides easy access to higher-level courses for students who are ready to be challenged even beyond the honors courses offered in the Middle School.
Where Middle School is Different